The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 20 September 2017

Trade

Image: Reuters

Deal or no deal?

The European Union and Canada’s long-delayed landmark trade deal takes effect tomorrow – but the UK shouldn’t get its hopes up. 

During Theresa May’s visit to Ottawa earlier this week, the British prime minister said she was confident that the UK would be able to make a “swift transition” after Brexit to a new trading relationship with Canada, based on the country’s landmark free-trade deal with the EU, known as Ceta. That deal provisionally takes effect tomorrow. But should this comprehensive agreement between Canada and the EU inspire confidence in the UK, where time is running out before it exits the EU? In short: no. Ceta has been in the works for nearly a decade and the accord still needs to be ratified by all national parliaments of EU member states before it is fully in play. While the trade deal may be enviable to the UK, it wasn’t achieved easily – or swiftly. Perhaps there will be further insight into Britain’s aspirations after the PM makes an appearance at the UN General Assembly in New York later today.

Transport

Image: Alamy

Pedal power

Getting on your bike in Perth has just become a whole lot easier.

This week, Perth launched its own bike-share scheme: eight stations will house the handsome blue wheelers of Australian start-up Urbi, installed around a university campus. Unlike Urbi’s fixed bike stations, Singaporean start-up Obike – on trial in Melbourne – and its Chinese counterpart Reddy Go, in Sydney, are dockless, meaning riders can park their bikes anywhere. But in China and Singapore, this freedom has been frequently abused by users. Strict Australian helmet requirements may also prove a hurdle for these schemes to take off. Starting small, such as the latest model in Perth, is a wise move for now.   

Culture

Seoul sensation

Collectors, critics, artists, galleries and art enthusiasts are set to gather at the Korean International Art Fair.

The 16th edition of the Korean International Art Fair (Kiaf) gets underway in Seoul tomorrow and one of the talking points is likely to be the continuing level of international interest in the Dansaekhwa art movement. The abstract monochrome style that first emerged in the 1970s under Park Chung-hee’s dictatorial rule enjoyed renewed interest among foreign curators and collectors during his daughter Park Geun-hye’s recently truncated term in office. Works by Korean artists from this era have been fetching record sums at auction. “Dansaekhwa is still the most significant trend in the Korean art market,” says Kiaf chairperson Lee Hwaik. Many of the grandees of the genre are scheduled to appear at this year’s event. Their work, born from a period of political upheaval, has taken on new meaning in light of recent political turmoil.

Aviation

Image: REX/Shutterstock

Flights of fancy

An upgraded fleet is taking Hawaii’s Island Air to the next level.

Hawaii’s independent Island Air airline – one of the major players in island-hopping and commuter flights across the Hawaiian islands – has just completed its transition to a new fleet. The new Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes are larger and faster. This is good news for businesses that operate across the islands, and equally welcome news for snap-happy visitors who will gain better views of the archipelago as the new planes don’t have to fly as high as their predecessors. Island Air operates 400 flights around the islands per week so its upgraded fleet will get plenty of air time.

From Monocle 24

Image: Peter Ross

Glenn Lowry, Director, MoMA

The Big Interview

Lowry has been at the helm of New York’s Moma for 22 years, overseeing acquisitions of works by major artists, the creation of new departments and various expansions and renovations. He joined Monocle’s Tomos Lewis to talk about the importance of museums when it comes to enriching public life.

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